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De Silvestro 'just a driver first'

Monday 19th May 2014

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De Silvestro 'just a driver first'

De Silvestro 'just a driver first'

Simona de Silvestro is adamant she does not want her gender to play a role in her F1 future, rather she wants to be judged solely on her talent.

The former IndyCar racer left America at the end of last season to pursue a career in Formula 1.

Signing up as a Sauber affiliated driver, de Silvestro has already taken part in one two-day out in a two-year old C31.

However, rather than court the limelight to further her agenda, the 25-year-old insists she only wants to be judged on her speed.

"Magazine shoots or fashion is not my style," De Silvestro said in an interview with The Telegraph.

"F1 is so selective and so picky. To me, what we're trying to do is to be competitive and to show that even if you're a woman in F1 - which is a man's world - that you can be really competitive.

"I think that's how I've got the respect so far. At the end of the day you have to wear the helmet and that's what counts.

"I don't think I'm getting this shot just because I'm a girl. That's never been how I've wanted to be portrayed. I'm just a driver first."

The Swiss racer acknowledges that she is taking a massive risk trying to break into F1 but hopes it is one that will pay off.

"It's a risk coming here. If you're not competitive, it can destroy girls who want to go into F1, because it's going to take another 25 years, or who knows.

"If you want to make it happen it is about the lap time, if you're a guy or a girl. That's what everybody is going to judge you on. That's what I've always aimed for. I've always wanted to be really competitive, and that's why people are supporting me.

"You do [sacrifice a lot], you have to. As an athlete nowadays it's all or nothing. Especially in racing, you get one chance at it. It's what I love doing."

And having already set her sights on a 2015 race-seat, De Silvestro admits it would a "big disappointment" if she never makes it onto the F1 grid.

"I think it would be a big disappointment. Right now, the road is pretty long. Everybody wants to get into F1. If we're competitive, and if we get the job done, there are possibilities out there for sure to make it happen."

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